Logan Verrett proving valuable as extra starter for Mets

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Mets right-hander Logan Verrett is headed back to the bullpen on a high note.

In his second and final start filling in for Jacob deGrom, Verrett tossed six scoreless innings in an 11-1 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. The performance came on the heels of Verrett also tossing six scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins last week.

DeGrom is due to return to the rotation on Sunday in Atlanta, which means Verrett reverts to a relief role.

"Really, whatever the role is -- starting, spot starting, relieving -- it doesn't matter," said Verrett, who allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six in a 91-pitch effort. "As long as we're winning ballgames, I'm happy to help."

Verrett faced his share of baserunners early against the Phillies. In the first, he walked No. 2 batter Odubel Herrera, then surrendered a single to Andres Blanco. Blanco, however, got himself caught in a rundown between first and second and was tagged out. Herrera ended up getting stranded on third base on a flyout by Ryan Howard. Verrett also overcame a pair of baserunners in the second inning.

Verrett suggested that he was overthrowing his fastball early in the game. Later, he started mixing in sliders. That diversified his repertoire and helped him find his proper arm slot for all of his pitches.

"They were pretty aggressive tonight," Verrett said. "I was fortunate to get some balls put in play right at the defense. I didn't feel as sharp as I did in my last start, so I really had to work for it today."

Verrett is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA this season. He has a 2.36 ERA in six career starts, making him a highly valuable extra arm.

"We know there's going to be a day when somebody is going to show up sick who is supposed to pitch," manager Terry Collins said. "Hopefully, this guy is rested enough. If you need somebody, he can step in and do the job."

Verrett suggested that this start felt normal, not like a spot start, because it was his second straight rotation turn in place of deGrom. Now that deGrom's newborn son has been released from the hospital and a lat issue is behind deGrom, he is ready to rejoin the team this weekend.

"I'm used to it by now," Verrett said. "I just kind of roll with the punches, go with the flow. Whatever they need."

Asked if Verrett might take on more than just a long-relief role while back in the bullpen, Collins said: "Right now it's hard to say. I just know that he's going to pitch, because he gets out and he throws strikes."